Pastor: Rev. Beverly Hall
It’s spring and for many folks, it’s also allergy season. One of the symptoms of an allergy is “sneezing.” Sneezing is simply a reflex. Pollen and sunlight are the most likely instigators of a sneeze. However, there are 454 diseases that include sneezing as one of the symptoms? In other words, a sneeze may indicate something else other than a common cold or a seasonal allergy. We need to get a doctor’s opinion if our sneezing is out of control. We never want to take chances with our health!
I began this blog by quoting a song my grandmother taught me concerning worry and prayer. It had a line in it, “Don’t be a doubting Thomas, rest surely on his promise . . .” Of all the disciples, Thomas sticks out the most. We know how Judas betrayed Jesus, but we also realize he was part of God’s plan. We know how Peter denied Jesus – and how Jesus forgave him. We know Matthew, the tax collector, and James and John – the Sons of Thunder. We know Philip as the evangelist and Andrew who brought Peter to Jesus. We hear of Simon the Zealot, Bartholomew, Thaddeus, and James (the lesser). If I called out their names and asked for a one word description, most of us would not be able to agree. But if I mention Thomas, we would all say, “Doubter.” Thomas and doubting will forever be engraved in our collective conscientiousness. I ask you, “What’s so wrong with doubting?”
Forrest Gump was a philosopher of sorts. The quote above is from the movie, Forrest Gump. Forrest’s home spun wisdom made us laugh, cry, and nod our heads. The full quote is, “My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” On this Holy Week, as we head to Easter Sunday, we feel that quote, don’t we? As Christians we bear the full weight of Jesus’ last days on earth. He deserves our attention as we focus on the cross – and beyond to the tomb – and to the resurrection.
“Are you connected?” is a question pastors often ask. As a pastor, I need to be “plugged in” to many different areas. As a Methodist pastor, I need to be plugged in and connected to the larger Methodist church in order to fully live out my call in ministry. I also need to be connected to the community and to those outside of the church. In what ways are you “plugged in” to church, to the community, to God?
Fences and borders keep people out. Borders and fences also keep people in. We tell ourselves these barriers are for our safety. We maintain these areas as we mark our territory. What fences have you put up lately? What borders are you desperate to maintain? What territory are you protecting? It could be much more than a physical space!
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